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WTO ups global trade growth forecast to 10.8% in 2021, 4.7% in 2022

Oct '21
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) recently upgraded its forecast for global merchandise trade volume to a 10.8 per cent rise in 2021 from the 8 per cent increase projected in March this year on the back of last year’s slump, which bottomed out in the second quarter of 2020. WTO projects export volume growth at 14.4 per cent in Asia this year.

Its projection for the same this year is 8.7 per cent in North America, 7.2 per cent in South America, 9.7 per cent in Europe, 0.6 per cent in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), 7 per cent in Africa and 5 per cent in West Asia.

“Due to a lower base, year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2021 was 22 per cent, but the figure is projected to fall to 10.9 per cent in the third quarter and 6.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, in part because of the rapid recovery in trade in the last two quarters of 2020. Reaching the forecast for 2021 only requires quarter-on-quarter growth to average 0.8 per cent per quarter in the second half of this year, equivalent to an annualised rate of 3.1 per cent," WTO said in a press release.

Imports in 2021 are set to grow by 12.6 per cent in North America, 19.9 per cent in South America, 9.1 per cent in Europe, 13.1 per cent in the CIS, 11.3 per cent in Africa, 9.3 per cent in West Asia and 10.7 per cent in Asia. Exports and imports of least developed countries (LDCs) will increase by an estimated 5.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent respectively in 2021.

India’s merchandise exports during the first half of this fiscal year jumped 56.92 per cent to a record $197 billion. The country has set a target of $400 billion for merchandise exports for fiscal 2021-22.

WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said inequitable access to vaccines is exacerbating economic divergence across regions.

“The longer vaccine inequity is allowed to persist, the greater the chance that even more dangerous variants of coronavirus will emerge, setting back the health and  economic progress we have made to date," she said.

As members approach the 12th ministerial conference later this year, they must come together and agree on a strong WTO response to the COVID-19 pandemic that would provide a foundation for faster vaccine production and equitable distribution, Okonjo-Iweala added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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